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Extended Audio Sample The Cold Six Thousand, by James Ellroy Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,982 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: James Ellroy Narrator: Craig Wasson Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Underworld USA Trilogy Release Date:
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In this savagely audacious novel, James Ellroy plants a pipe bomb under the America of the 1960s, lights the fuse, and watches the shrapnel fly.

On November 22, 1963, three men converge in Dallas. Their job: to clean up the JFK hit’s loose ends and inconvenient witnesses. They are Wayne Tedrow, Jr., a Las Vegas cop with family ties to the lunatic right; Ward J. Littell, a defrocked FBI man turned underworld mouthpiece; and Pete Bondurant, a dope-runner and hit-man who serves as the mob’s emissary to the anti-Castro underground.

It goes bad from there. For the next five years these nightriders run a whirlwind of plots and counterplots: Howard Hughes’s takeover of Vegas, J. Edgar Hoover’s war against the civil rights movement, the heroin trade in Vietnam, and the murders of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bobby Kennedy. Wilder than L. A. Confidential, more devastating than American Tabloid, The Cold Six Thousand establishes Ellroy as one of our most fearless novelists.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Ellroy rips into American culture like a chainsaw in an abbatoir. . . . Pick it up if you dare; put it down if you can. Time
  • A wild ride. . . . An American political underbelly teeming with conspiracy and crime. . . . So hard-boiled you could chip a tooth on it. The New York Times Book Review
  • A ripping read....the book is pure testosterone. The Plain Dealer
  • A great and terrible book about a great and terrible time in America. The Village Voice

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Zachary | 2/16/2014

    " I could not get into this book, which disappointed me because I love the movie of LA Confidential and took a chance with this book by Ellroy. His prose is really choppy, which I realize is probably intentional, but it just wasn't for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by John Nuño | 2/4/2014

    " I think it's impossible to read or watch the news the same way after experiencing the world through Ellroy's dirty literary prism, and "The Cold 6000" is no exception. It's all fiction of course but he goes through painstaking historical research (he actually has a team of researchers) before he writes, so you are always left to wonder. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Christopher Roberts | 2/2/2014

    " I probably should have read the first book in the series but I don't think it would have made a difference. Ellroy's prose is so simple that it is funny, sometimes on purpose and sometimes not. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Jeremy | 2/2/2014

    " Yah, this one gets 5 stars too. I loved American Tabloid - never read anything like it, and so I'd give AT 6 stars if I could. I've had the hardcover of this one for years, and had it half-finished before I walked away. Went with the audiobook version instead and plowed right through it. So yes, five stars, but I feel the need to take a verrry long shower to try and get this book off of me. With perhaps the tiny exception of RFK, there are NO redeemable characters in this book. Everyone is a scumbag. There are high-level scumbags who fall in with low-level scumbags. And the scumbag alliances that are struck are characterized by one scumbag trying to out-scumbag the other scumbag. And just when Ellroy has manipulated you into sympathizing with one of the three main characters, because he at least believes in something other than money, that character ends up orchestrating a gay-tryst shakedown involving a prominent civil rights leader. The arcs of each of the three protagonists are fascinating, and the writer's style annoys less with a skilled narrator doing the reading, in my opinion. I've started worrying plot holes now that I'm finished, and I felt like the central cataclysmic events happened rather bloodlessly (bloodlessly being relative in an Ellroy book). The RFK assassination seemed almost wedged in, especially in the wake of MLK, Jr. Obviously, I know the historical timeline, but I'm not sure that Ellroy needed to cover both events. On the other hand, RFK was Ward Littel's raison d'etre, so in some ways, Ellroy HAD to include it. So while I do have quibbles, the style, the characterizations, the grittiness, the audacity - all of those things combine to make this another winner for Ellroy. Now on to 'Blood's A Rover'. For those of you who listened to the audio version of The Cold Six Thousand, Craig Wasson does the narration on Bloods A Rover as well. However, he pronounces names differently - 'Carlos MarCHello' as opposed to 'Carlos MarSello' or 'Ward Little' as opposed to 'Ward Lit-TELL'. In addition, he uses different voices for characters that have carried over from the prior book. It's a little bit distracting. Thankfully, his fey, sinister voice for J. Edgar Hoover remains intact. "

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